Seduction, Westmoreland Style(4)

By: Brenda Jackson

Besides that, there was another reason he wouldn’t hire Casey. He had decided six years ago after Lynette Franklin had walked out on him that a woman had no place on his ranch.

Just thinking of Lynette sent resentment through all parts of his body. But then to be fair, he couldn’t rightly fault her for wanting something he couldn’t give her. And when she had left, she had made him realize that a serious relationship with any female was something he would not involve himself in again.

His thoughts grudgingly shifted back to Casey. His attraction to her was more lethal than what he’d had for Lynette. Casey was a woman who, without very much effort, could bring out strong desires in any man. And to make matters worse, she was Corey’s daughter and Durango ’s cousin. That meant she was definitely off-limits.

“Regardless of what she thinks, I did the right thing,” he muttered, trying to place his concentration back on grooming Thunder, and not on how Casey’s curvy backside swayed when she walked out of the barn. All he wanted from a woman was a short, hot, satisfying affair with no ties. Casey Westmoreland had the words home, hearth and motherhood all but stamped on her forehead. And that was the type of woman he avoided at all cost.

He refused to let any female become an emotional threat to his well-being ever again.

The moment the sunshine hit Casey’s face she inhaled, trying to get her teenager under control. She doubted there were any words to describe how she felt toward McKinnon Quinn at that moment. The man was impossible!

She glanced around and grudgingly admitted his sprawling ranch was simply beautiful. The house wasn’t as huge as her father’s but she thought it had a lot of class and exuded an appeal as strong as the man who owned it. He had adroitly erected the structure on a beautiful piece of land that had a picturesque view of the mountains in the background.

It was a sunny day in early May and the weather reminded her of a day in Texas . McKinnon’s men were busy at work and as she walked toward her car to leave, she noted several beautiful horses were being led into a corral. She turned suddenly when one of the men’s shouting caught her attention in time to see this huge monstrosity of a horse break free from the man’s hold and start charging after him.

When the horse reared up on hind legs with full intent to stomp the man to death, she held her breath and watched as the man made a smart move and fell to the ground, immediately rolling out of harm’s way. It seemed the animal was in rare form, and when several of the men ran forward to grab hold of his reins, he tried attacking them and sent them running for cover. One of them wasn’t quick enough and the horse took off, charging after him.

Without any thought of what she was doing or that she was putting her life in danger, Casey raced toward the charging animal trying to get his attention. She frantically waved her hands in the air and whistled. Pretty soon the animal turned huge dark, flaming eyes in her direction and with a tilt of its head, a flare of its nostrils and a turn of its body, she then became his target. She felt the hairs on the back of her neck rise, putting her on full alert, however, instead of running for cover, she stood still.

McKinnon rushed out of the barn at that very moment. He had heard all the commotion and when he saw Prince Charming turned toward Casey, and she just standing there as if frozen in place, his heart slammed in his chest.

“Casey, run, dammit!”

When he saw she didn’t move, he decided to run toward her, knowing that with Prince Charming’s speed there was no way he was going to reach her in time, but he would die trying. Suddenly a rifle was shoved into his hands by one of his men and he knew he had to destroy the animal before it took Casey’s life. At that moment it didn’t matter one iota that the animal he was about to take down had cost Sheikh Jamal Ari Yasir over a million dollars. McKinnon’s only concern was doing whatever it took to protect Casey Westmoreland.

He raised the gun to take aim and fire when one of his men shouted, “Wait! Take a look at that.”

McKinnon blinked, amazed at what he was seeing. Fear hadn’t frozen Casey in place—she had been talking to the blasted animal and somehow she had gotten through to it. Prince Charming had come to a screeching halt within ten feet of Casey and was now trotting over to her with his tail wagging like they were the best of friends. She was holding her hand out to him and the horse cautiously came up to her and began nuzzling her hand.

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